To Secure e-Signature, Move Up From Electronic to Digital

Have you ever forged your spouse’s signature when time pressure “forced your hand,” (pun intended)?

We understand the impulse: You might have been registering your kid for school, as many of us did over the last month, and at one spot in the process you came up against a form that both parents needed to fill out. it is a harmless form, and one your spouse clearly would sign if he or she were with you. Plus, the extra work of suspending that part of the registration process to get the missing signature is more time and effort than the particular signature is worth.

So you appoint yourself a temporary power of attorney and sign for your spouse, saving everyone a hassle.

You wouldn’t do this signing loan documents, of course, but this little story points out the flaw in the thinking of people who distrust new e-signature solutions:

Ink on paper is as easy to forge as any form of electronic signature available today. And online software like SutiSign actually provides greater security than old-fashioned ink on paper. Think about it: Once you have provided an inked signature on a document, that signature is in the hands of others who could copy it and forge it onto other documents. You have to trust that the people who then own your signature will not abuse the privilege of that ownership!

Let’s explore this even further. Consider this video, in which a real estate agent describes on of the most basic forms of electronic signature.

To recap:

  • His client signs an old-fashioned ink-and-paper document giving approval to use his signature.
  • The agent then creates an image of the signature, and pastes it into the legal documents involved in a property purchase.
  • The agent e-mails a pdf of the document to the client, and gets an e-mail back with approval typed in. This provides the audit trail for confirmation that the signature is valid.

This is pretty simplistic, and as you can read in the comments below the video, people don’t think much of this form of electronic signature. But think further: it also shows how signing documents with real ink on paper is now no safer. Anyone can scan what you signed and lift your signature off it with the most basic of software tools. Indeed, the clients of this real estate agent must put a lot of trust in him that no one will abuse the privilege of owning a facsimile of the client’s legal signature.

To eliminate that threat, the agent should go a step further and implement a more robust online software that provides digital signature capability, where?the signature cannot exist outside the audit trail.

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This is the driving force behind what we do:?Make secure, auditable and binding electronic signatures within reach of everyone,?even individuals and companies with limited budgets.

Get out of the business of copying signatures for other people.?Remove that risk-bearing burden from your operations with online e-signature software.

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